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Getting set for Santa, shopping and songs

KINGSTON — When residents head into town today, they will see the holiday spirit has already started to settle upon the Little City By the Sea.

Kingston Revitalization Association chair Karen Ross and community members gathered at the Kingston Community Center this morning to decorate downtown with ribbon and garland, just a week before the town becomes a holiday wonderland.

The 7th annual Kingston Country Christmas will start at 10 a.m. Dec. 6 when stores open and business owners participate in the town’s annual holiday shopping day.

“I hope people will try and do as much of their Christmas shopping as much as they can,” Ross said.

Old fashioned horse carriages will take shoppers from store to store and around the downtown area from noon to 4 p.m.

To keep the kids occupied while shopping, parents can have them meet up with Santa Claus, who will arrive at 1:30 p.m at the Kingston Community Center atop a North Kitsap Fire & Rescue Fire Truck. He’ll let kids whisper holiday wishes in his ears until 3:30 p.m.

Besides shopping at local businesses, visitors and residents are invited to peruse the works of creative types from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. during an open house of art studios along West 1st Street and West Kingston Road.

Betty Claire’s Earth Dance Studio, the West First Street Gallery and Marilyn Liden Bode Printmaker will be hosting 11 local artists within their art spaces. The studios will also be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7.

When the carriages stop and shopping is done, folks can hop on one of the tractors at 4 p.m. in the Kingston Thriftway Shopping Complex or at Mike Wallace Memorial Park for a leisurely ride around town.

When night falls, weary shoppers can find a seat at the park for some true hometown holiday entertainment.

One of Ross’ favorite parts of the day is The Home Town Band, which will be performing from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Following the musical number, the annual lighting of the tree in the park will take place at 5:30 p.m.

“They are so good,” Ross said. “They play Christmas music and it’s all lit up down there with the tree and boats. It just feels like Christmas.”

Boaters at the Kingston Marina guest dock will also host an open house of decorated boats.

Ross said she hopes shoppers and event-goers, young and old alike, take advantage of the unique atmosphere that Kingston provides during the holidays.

“I hope they enjoy the benefit of what a small town has to offer,” Ross said. “The fact that people know each other and you can see the whole town and enjoy everything in a day — and have a good time doing it.”

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